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2012: The Year in Supporting Actors   Leave a comment

2012 supp actors

Yesterday, we kicked off the awards season here at Tit for Tat with a recap of the year in supporting actresses in local films. For this day, we’d do the counterpart and discuss the year in supporting actors. Mostly, supporting actor roles this year were veteran actors doing comeback films or newbie actors in their first films. Like the pattern yesterday, we’d divide them into three parts:

LEADERS OF THE PACK

If he’s not submitted or inserted in the far crowded Lead Actor category, Thy Womb‘s Bembol Roco can find his name among award giving bodies this year as the husband of Nora Aunor who wanted to have a child of his own. Ronaldo Valdez seems like that he will be a staple to as Bea Alonzo’s benefactor in The Mistress. Filmfest Best Supporting Actor winner Cesar Montano is also gaining notices as the standout from the ensemble of El Presidente playing the role of hero Andres Bonifacio. Relatively younger actor Zanjoe Marudo had two award worthy performances this year: as one of the soldiers in Adolf Alix’s Kalayaan, though I can see award giving bodies going for his showier performance as Tristan in the drama One More Try. Round up the top five is the comical and scene stealing performance of Joey Marquez as the passive and under da saya husband of Janice de Belen in Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles.

MIDDLE TIER

After the top five, these men’s performances can also see a nomination or two from these award giving bodies: versatile actor Art Acuña can do back to back wins at the Urian and Golden Screen for his performance as the head of police in the Cinemalaya entry Posas. Veteran actor Mark Gil can do a comeback at the awards circuit in his flashy performance as Frankie in Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi. No stranger to awards, Carlo Aquino can also pick up nominations for his turn as the younger son in Adolf Alix’s Mater Dolorosa while older brother Cogie Domingo also has buzz from the same film. The same can be said for Cinemalaya Supporting Actor winner Joross Gamboa playing as one of JM de Guzman’s friends in Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino. Kristoffer Martin, playing lazy younger brother to another Kristoffer (King, that is) who does not want to live a poverty stricken life in Oros can be a candidate as well. If voters are much in love with El Presidente, then Andres Bonifacio might not be the only hero nominated in this category. Christopher de Leon‘s Anotnio Luna can be in the running as well. Joel Torre might gain some notices too, if voters are kinder to Mariposa for his role as Primo, the butcher. Ogie Alcasid‘s one hit wonder slash understanding father to Sam Concepcion might pick up some notices as well for his performance in I Do Bidoo Bidoo. Lastly, Patrick Sugui can also get nominated especially in award giving bodies that has new actors of the year categories as the frat neophyte in Gino Santos’s The Animals.

THE REST OF THE RACE

As for the rest of the race, one can also take a look into the performances of Mon Confiado as the boss who has the hots for one of his employees’ wife in Palitan, Sef Cadayona as the hostage of three gay friends in Slumber Party, corrupt politician Menggie Cobarrubias whose family was put into a test in Graceland, and the pair of Mariposa actors Dennis Padilla as the cop who wants a promotion and Alfred Vargas as Carlos, the boyfriend of Erich Gonzales’s sister in the movie. Looking further, other performances that might be up for consideration were newcomer Nicolas Varela in Aberya, Robert Arevalo as Vilma Santos’ now healthy father in The Healing, Baron Geisler’s Spanish soldier performance in El Presidente, Sid Lucero as one of the Abu Sayyaf members in Captive, and Niño Muhlach as fairy gaymother in Slumber Party.

That’s it! That’s just 25 names, but it gives award giving bodies a lot of options to choose from in next year’s awards derby. Tomorrow, spotlight for the leading actors of the year will be given.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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REVIEW: El Presidente   2 comments

El Presidente

After last year’s surprise hit Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, Jeorge “ER” Estregan comes back for another round at the Metro Manila Film Festival. For this year, he goes with the historical drama from the perspective of Cavite hero Emilio Aguinaldo. 2003 MMFF Best Director Mark Meilly (Crying Ladies) wrote and directed the film which also stars Christopher de Leon, Cesar Montano, Cristine Reyes, and Nora Aunor among others.

The film basically follows the story of Emilio Aguinaldo way back to his early days as the town mayor of Cavite el Viejo until his final remaining days in bed. What transpired in between was a trip down history lessons.  The details according to the director were based from My Memoirs written by Emilio Aguinaldo himself.

For one, the approach of the events were mostly linear except for the initial scene in the film. The rest follows the timeline which probably is the director’s aim in order to educate and not confuse the moviegoers. With that in mind, I still find the movie too long. 160 minutes is too much for a history recap that mostly just was a parade of the technical achievements of the people behind it…

…which leads me to say that yes, the technical achievements were actually good. The color palette used, despite being inconsistent (early morning scenes were too obviously blurry), but for the most part, they were a feast to the eyes. Production design was also commendable here. Though make up (especially that of the old woman) and the slow motion effects during war scenes were horribly bad.

I don’t know if it’s Aguinaldo in general or probably just how Estregan played him, but he comes off as very blah in the movie. Put into mind that this is his movie, and this will make you grasp for straws with its long screentime. Probably it’s the director’s approach all along? Who knows? But he certainly lack the appeal of a lead character, and Andres Bonifacio was more delightful to watch despite not being in the screen for a long time.

I was confused with the billing of the movie, though I guess they prioritized all the big stars in the poster for box office appeal. Cristine Reyes was a decoration to say the most (a beautiful one at that), and Christopher de Leon was memorable albeit appearing short here. Cesar Montano wasn’t in the last hour or so, but he brings a particular energy to his Bonifacio that I won’t be surprised if he gets awards notices for this one. Nora Aunor appeared only in the last 10 minutes of the film, so if you’re waiting for her, you can miss the first two hours and thirty minutes. I must say though that from the rest of the characters, Felix Roco ‘s Gregorio del Pilar and Sid Lucero were the two I enjoyed the most.

In entirety, the movie was just okay. I don’t know if that was good or bad, but it was that. Just okay. The technical achievements were mostly good to horribly bad, and the screentime is difficult to sit through, then you’d have a blah lead in it. But there are saving grace such as Cesar Montano’s Bonifacio. So I guess it was uneven to okay.

Grade: 2.5/5

Here are the reviews of the other Metro Manila Film Festival 2012 entries:

One More Try
Shake, Rattle, and Roll 14: The Invasion
Si Agimat, si Enteng, at si Ako
Sisterakas
Sosy Problems
The Strangers
Thy Womb

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl